Apps & Software

Four Essential Actions to Level up Your Company’s Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks are a constant threat in today’s digital landscape. A single breach can be devastating, leading to financial losses, legal repercussions, and irreparable reputational damage. Here’s how you can significantly bolster your company’s cybersecurity defences:

1. Tame SaaS sprawl for greater visibility

SaaS applications are incredibly useful for getting things done, but potentially dangerous if left unchecked. The growing number of SaaS tools in use can quickly spiral into SaaS sprawl, where you lose sight of what applications are being used and who’s using them. This lack of visibility creates significant security risks, as well as an increased attack surface.

The first step to taming the sprawl is achieving full visibility into your company’s SaaS landscape.  Imagine a dark room filled with tools – you wouldn’t know what’s there or if they’re being used safely. A comprehensive audit is like turning on the lights, revealing every application currently in use across all departments.

But here’s the catch: sometimes employees bypass established procurement procedures and start using applications without IT approval. This is known as shadow IT and can lead to compliance issues and security vulnerabilities.

Action steps to tame the sprawl:

  1. Launch a company-wide investigation to identify all the SaaS applications currently in use. This might involve surveys, interviews, and exploring IT system logs.
  2. Establish a clear and streamlined process for requesting and approving new SaaS tools. This should involve collaboration between IT, finance, and department heads.
  3. Make everyone aware of the dangers of shadow IT and the importance of using approved applications.

By taking these steps, you can gain control of your SaaS sprawl, improve security, ensure compliance, and optimise your software spending.

2. Empower employees with knowledge

While technology plays a crucial role in cybersecurity, employees are often the first line of defence. Studies show a staggering 88% of data breaches stem from human error. Equipping your team with cybersecurity best practices is paramount. Phishing scams, for example, are a common tactic hackers use to gain access to systems. A trained employee can spot these attempts and avoid falling victim.

Training Strategies:

  • Conduct engaging workshops or online modules that use real-world scenarios and simulations. Gamification can also be a fun and effective way to boost learning.
  • Regular phishing simulations, where employees receive realistic-looking fake emails, can expose knowledge gaps and identify areas needing improvement. This is a safe way to make mistakes and learn from them before a real attack occurs.
  • The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving. Don’t make cybersecurity training a one-off event. Regular awareness campaigns, booster sessions, and keeping employees updated on the latest threats are essential for maintaining a strong defence.

3. Diversify data storage

Depending solely on the cloud for data storage can be risky. A data breach or a ransomware attack targeting your cloud storage could leave your company scrambling. Ransomware encrypts your data, essentially holding it hostage until you pay a hefty ransom for decryption. Diversifying your data storage strategy protects you from such threats.

To protect against this, use a strategy known as the 3-2-1 rule:

  • Maintain at least three copies of your data. This includes your primary working version and two backups.
  • Don’t store all your backups in the same place. Store two copies on separate cloud storage platforms. This ensures that if one cloud provider experiences an outage or attack, your data remains safe in the other.
  • Finally, keep one additional copy of your data offline. This could be an external hard drive or a physical storage device not connected to the internet.

4. Fortify logins with multi-factor authentication

Many people reuse the same password for multiple accounts, a risky practice that can compromise your entire system if a single password is compromised. To avoid this, enforce strong, unique passwords. Set minimum password length requirements and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

It’s also recommended to add an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification step (known as multi-factor authentication). This could be a code sent to a mobile phone or even biometric details such as a fingerprint scan.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can significantly strengthen your company’s cybersecurity posture. Remember, cybersecurity is a team effort. Educated employees, robust security measures, and a diversified data storage strategy all work together to create a multi-layered defence against cyber threats. Start building your defence today, and ensure your company has the resilience to weather any cyber storm.